Self portrait ? Pham Hoc Hai - 2008

As if predicting my questioning look, his oldest son said fittingly, 'Although cancer is a disease of imprisonment my father always stuck to the thought of breaking free of this prison!' Then, pointing his finger at numerous paintings of flowers of all kinds, hung everywhere in the house, he went on, 'These are the last works of my father' as his eyes moistened he choked with emotion, 'My father was a great man! He would readily sell his paintings so that my mother, I and our family could have a comfortable life'. Little wonder that this woman, young for her age, who was Hoc Hai's widow, radiated such a touching depth of feeling. As if to illustrate what her son had said she added, 'Hai said: "I know my paintings are my children. If you hold them in custody in the house, who would know if they are good looking or ugly, they must make their own way in life, and parting with them serves, at the same time, to help us survive"'.